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Best Vegas-like Casinos in Canada?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Hotels & Casinos' started by TXactuarial, Jan 21, 2016.

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  1. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

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    With the US dollar so high relative to the Canadian dollar, what are some good gambling destinations in America's hat? Any Canada-specific games?
     
  2. richardinbc

    richardinbc Low-Roller

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    What was the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam BC and now is The Hard Rock casino. Its been doing very well with the the name and theme change and they now call it a Vancouver Casino.
     
  3. Bondy3

    Bondy3 Low-Roller

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    Ive spent a bunch of time in river-rock casino, that place is pretty nice, just south of Vancouver. not really vegas, they dont give comps
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Any particular provinces you are looking at? Its kind of a big country, and casinos are all over the place.

    My comments will be specific to Ontario casinos, with specific notes on a couple.

    First, things you need to know about Ontario, and how the laws are different:

    1) There is no smoking indoors. Anywhere. Casinos will have balconies and/or covered smoking areas but you won't be smoking at the tables.
    2) Liquor is not comped. This is not casinos being cheap, liquor laws simply forbid it. Soft drinks free. Hard drinks pricey.
    3) No taxes! Americans are meant to declare any winnings on their taxes I believe, but there are no forms to fill out, and nothing to be withheld. Canada does not tax gambling winnings.
    4) Casinos are essentially government entities. They license out operations, but a big part of the cut comes back to the government.
    5) No single game betting on sports

    Now, a couple specific ones:

    Fallsview Casino resort:

    In a way, this may be the most 'Vegas like' place in Ontario. Its players club is not linked to anything, but being in Niagara Falls, it is a fairly touristy area. They have restaurants, shopping, and a buffet. And there are many more dining options and hotels in the surrounding area. The city is also mildly notorious for having some liberal-rules strip clubs, if that's your thing. At the base of Clifton Hill (a tourist area).

    Fallsview has lots of slots and a table games, and maybe 12-16 poker tables. Poker games run off session fees instead of rake, which can get pricey, but generates lots of action too. On the weekend, expect craps starting at $10 cdn and above and BJ at $25 or above. When I was last there, there was a lone $5 6:5 table, everything else 3:2. H17 everywhere as I recall. There is a showroom that gets ok acts and a bar with live entertainment.


    Caesars Windsor:

    CET is the operator for this one, and play on it counts towards Total Rewards, which is handy. Biggest negative would be its Windsor. Unless you have a great love for Detroit, its not the most exciting destination.
    They have blackjack starting around $15 on weekends, (3:2, H17), a large quiet poker room (but tons of local players), craps I think starts at $10 on weekends. They have a big buffet, but with limited hours (dinner every day, but brunch only on weekends, and lunch only a few days), sports bar, johnny rockets, a nightclub, a cafe, a steakhouse, and a couple other options. Rooms are nice and comps for them are not hard.
     
  5. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    For the big Vancouver area casinos (River Rock, Starlight, Grand Villa and Hard Rock) I think they all look good - they are nice looking casinos, everything is pretty well done up, etc... but I don't think any of them are really "Vegas-like" in that they just don't seem to have the same atmosphere, din of the crowd, Vegas vacation vibe, etc. River Rock is probably the closest.

    I've never really gone to any locals casinos in Las Vegas, but I would guess this is probably what they are more like - on The Strip I think part of what is fueling the whole casino experience is the free drinks are flowing and everybody is relaxing and on vacation and all that, so it just gives the whole place a different mood and feeling that you won't really find in many casinos outside of Las Vegas' Strip.

    But if you want ones that look nice and have a look like a Las Vegas casino any of the four main ones out here will (I haven't checked recently to see if the one in Downtown Vancouver is open yet or not, but thats another one coming soon to replace an existing casino thats more like a big concrete building than a casino).
     
  6. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

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    Eesh, is that all of Canada or just Ontario? I'd rather pay a little extra for freedom.
     
  7. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    For which freedom?

    Smoking: eventually all of the USA is going to be non-smoking indoors, including Las Vegas casinos. Might seem implausible that Las Vegas would ever go that route, but more and more hotels are going non smoking already and some casinos have no smoking areas in them. As a smoker at first I didn't like not being able to smoke in the casino, but eventually you get used to it and at my local casino they have lots of smoking balconies where I can go to light up.


    Liquor: Yes you do have to pay for drinks with alcohol, but there is an advantage to that: when you order from a cocktail waitress she goes right to the bar, gets your drink and comes back so you usually have it within 1-2 minutes of ordering. Also, at some Canadian casinos they have waitresses with push carts that they wheel around the casino that have ice buckets full of beer (and a wide variety of other bottled drinks) where you can just order and seconds later you have a cold one in your hands.

    This is also just what you are used to: in Las Vegas I've ordered a drink only to sit at my machine for another 20 minutes and losing $20-30 waiting for it to arrive or gone without a drink because I didn't want to pay for one when "I can get one free" but gone an hour or two without seeing a single cocktail waitress in my area. Now, when I am in Las Vegas I usually go to the casino gift shop and just buy a can of beer or go to a bar and buy one because I want a drink and have no idea how long the waitress will take to get around to me... so paying for one at my local casino really isn't much different to me.


    Sports: True, you do have to bet on at least 2 events for the government run sports books... but then our government lets us bet online so you could be sitting at home in your underwear betting sports online while playing online poker if you wanted (as I type this up I am playing a tournament on PokerStars).
     
  8. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Calgary has some nice casinos , some with a Hotel also , others just stand alone casino A couple have entertainment too , been to a few shows :)
    Many have a players card to earn comp's of some sort .....

    Most are non smoking but may have a smoking area
    same rules apply here in Alberta about no free liquor comps
    Free coffee stations tho including tea
     
  9. BarelyHangingOn

    BarelyHangingOn Low-Roller

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    Was at the Fallsview casino on New Years Eve. Niagara puts on a nice free concert and fireworks show in the park every year. There were two Craps tables and both were $25 min. I got mailed a free buffet for joining and playing. The hotels in Niagara also try to squeeze $35 a day for parking. If you park at the Casino after checking in you can get free overnight parking with your Players card as long as you play a set amount which the hotel lady thought was $40.

    A co-worker goes to a few of the slots places on a regular basis and tells me that they monitor your drinks only serving once an hour and they have a max. that they will server you in a night. Not sure if this is the same at Fallsview or Rama.
     
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  10. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    The indoor smoking ban is provincial level, but done everywhere I think.

    The single sports betting thing is Canadian law. There has been discussion of scrapping it, but the sports leagues tend to back it, and it has never gotten done.

    Every province has their own liquor laws. No idea what other Canadian casinos are like for drinks.

    If those specific items would make a trip less pleasant for you, you should definitely avoid it, which is why I posted the warnings in the first place. But as to classifying it as a freedom thing, it is all relative. Canada is a democracy, and if we value a liquor law change or sports betting enough, we could easily change those laws. In the meantime, a lot of people would take the lack of tax on gambling winnings as a greater freedom than those given up.

    And I love the indoor smoking ban. Did not care until it had been in place for a year or two. Smoky bars/restaurants were 'normal'. Stinky clothes and sore eyes after a night at the pool hall were normal. Now when I go to a smoky place in the states, wow do I notice, and it is not pleasant. I won't even get into a health discussion. Smokers in Canada have less freedom in where to smoker so the rest of us have more freedom from exposure to smoke, and I love the tradeoff.
     
  11. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I love Casino Windsor/Caesars Windsor. Used to go a lot to stay there for sporting events in Detroit. Thinking of making a trip with the favorable exchange. Yeah drinks are pricey though and no smoking is not a deal breaker for me but I would miss smoking a cuban and playing.

    Does Windsor sill have a lot of bars/strip clubs? They used to when I was going, lots of young Americans on weekend since drinking laws were 19 (still are?), I thought it was a fun city to hangout in.
     
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  12. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    AFAIK, yes. I don't go out often while in Windsor.


    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention about Caesars Windsor .... NO RESORT FEES!!
     
  13. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I liked the pool area plus the sauna area in the locker rooms. Very nice. Unless it changed of course.
     
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  14. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Nope, it is still there and still pretty nice. It is in the forum tower though, so those wishing to use it should request that tower unless they want to schlep through the whole casino to use it.

    Sauna doesn't get hot enough for my tastes, but then few hotel saunas do.
     
  15. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

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    The liquor thing may be the biggest issue for me. I've never had trouble getting a free drink while playing table games, and I tend to drink a dozen or so cocktails throughout the day when in vegas.

    Also, as a generally non-smoking person, part of the allure of vegas is sitting at a video poker bar, lighting up a cigar, and getting free drinks. I know a lot of those freebies are not long for this world, but I'm going to take them while I can get them!
     
  16. speedfile

    speedfile Tourist

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    I'm a smoker and I smoke at least a pack when I'm at table for a couple hours. But I did enjoyed the non smoking scene at fallsview casino, the balcony is not far from the tables (baccarat) and it was nice to leave the table and go for a smoke after losing a few hands straight.
     
  17. bobby jones

    bobby jones Low-Roller

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    I was there New Years as well. I have never seen any casino so busy in my life. Never mind not being able to get on your favourite slot machine, you could not get on any machine! Around 9-10 pm, every machine was taken as I walked around and walking around was an issue due to the number of people walking around! They had their standard two $5 BJ tables and I think they skipped right to $50 after that. There may have been a $25 but, I didn't see it.

    Fortunately/Unfortunately we recently moved 15 minutes away (NOTL) We have gone a lot as our guests always say, hey lets go to the Casino! I am a little tired of it to be honest but, we have had some nice comped dinners and have tickets to bunch of shows as a result.
     
  18. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Pro tip... if you are American and coming into windsor. Buy your room booze at the duty free before cross over. Made mistake once with a buddy saying we don't need 24 beers, got 12 at llbo cost same as 24 at duty free!

    Also if lot more strict with booze from room on floor then vegas cw took ny friends beer away on floor.

    There is a brewery you can do a tour of in Windsor walkerville, also a Canadian club tour not a distillery but an older one with tastings at the end.


    Last thing sadly is tunnel bbq closed... my favorite restaurant there.
     
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  19. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Good one. Yes, americans buying their own beer from beer or liquor stores in Canada will find the prices outrageous. And yes, you should expect what you buy to be for in room consumption only.

    PS> It is LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).
     
  20. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Doh I tried to sound Canadian!
     
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